Bag of goodies as Telkom abandons Orange brand

Business Daily Kenya:  Telkom Kenya, whose majority ShareholderUnited Kingdom private equity fund Helios (60 per cent), will now operate un...

Business Daily Kenya: 

Telkom chairman Eddy Njoroge (left), chief executive Aldo Mareuse, Treasury Cabinet secretary (CS) Henry Rotich, Communications Authority director general, Francis Wangusi and Information CS Joe Mucheru during Orange rebranding to Telkom Kenya. Photo/PHILIP KAKAKYA

Telkom Kenya, whose majority ShareholderUnited Kingdom private equity fund Helios (60 per cent), will now operate under Telkom brand launched yesterday by Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich.

The launch was marked by a bouquet of sweet deals including free daily data to subscribers of the firm’s 4G LTE service, also launched yesterday in nine major cities and towns. Subscribers will enjoy free calls and texts in the new data plan.

Texts, calls and sharing of photos and videos on WhatsApp will also be free for data customers. The company’s chief executive Aldo Mareuse acknowledged that the firm’s potential place remained unexploited at the time of France Telecom exit as the majority shareholder.

“Telkom Kenya has a long history in Kenya’s telecommunication industry. It has strong assets including fixed and mobile infrastructure, as well as international gateways to communication.

But the company has not achieved its potential. It is true that the company has been a sleeping giant,” said Mareuse. He said one year after acquisition of France telecom’s shareholding by Helios, the firm has invested Sh5 billion in a transformation programme aimed at increasing its share in Kenya’s telecommunication market.

The investments include setting up 4G LTE network across the country, increasing its base transmission station and doubling its shops network. Information Cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru said government will play its part to ensure that the relaunched firm operated in a fair environment.

“We have held meetings with all telecom players in order to level the playing field and I can assure you that we will have a deal on mobile money transfer interoperability by end of July,” said Mucheru.

Mucheru was responding to a challenge by Telkom Kenya’s chairman Eddy Njoroge to government asking it to play its part in ensuring fair competition in the telecoms market.

“Having one dominant player in the market is not good for the economy because it stifles competition. It is also bad for small businesses because they will have no room for growth in the telecom industry,” said Njoroge.

But Mucheru warned that government intervention will not be influenced by companies that are suffering because of their poor marketing strategies.

Rotich said the government was happy that it had clawed back some of its shareholding in the company that had been diluted from 51 per cent in 2007 when the firm was privatised to the current 40 per cent.

“As you may be aware the government shareholding in the company had been diluted because we could not match the huge debts that France Telecom had lent Telkom Kenya. We are glad that our shareholding increased after the acquisition of France Telecom’s 70 per cent stake by Helios,” said Rotich.

The post Bag of goodies as Telkom abandons Orange brand appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.

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